Oklahoma State switched quarterbacks. It kept forcing turnovers. And Josh Stewart had himself a ballgame. Let’s look back at the Cowboys’ 24-10 Homecoming victory over TCU.
I wrote about the quarterback switch from J.W. Walsh to Clint Chelf. Why make the change now? How did the rest of the team find out? What does it mean going forward?
Berry Tramel on Josh Stewart, the best player on the field Saturday.
John Helsley on the Cowboy defense, which put together another stout performance Saturday.
Our notebook leads with true freshman running back Rennie Childs, who made his case for more carries moving forward.
The Cowboys got an up-and-down report card from Berry.
Here are the numbers that stuck out in the game.
Justin Gilbert thinks this defense has been “overlooked”
Quoteboard from the game, including OSU and TCU players and coaches.
Answering the three questions
1. How does the OSU offense attack TCU’s defense?
The Cowboys switched from Walsh to Chelf in the second quarter after two early Walsh interceptions, including one in the end zone. Chelf behind center allowed for more downfield passing, which coaches said was the game plan heading into the contest. OSU still struggled to run the ball until Childs gave the Cowboys a late spark. Josh Stewart was Walsh’s primary target, but later he came up with perhaps the game’s biggest offensive play when he jumped into the air to come up with an acrobatic catch off of a pass from Charlie Moore on a trick play. The Cowboys did enough to win, but there are still plenty of questions about this side of the ball moving forward.
2. Can the Cowboy defense keep the turnovers coming?
In short, yes. OSU forced four more turnovers, including three interceptions of Trevone Boykin. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in turnover margin (plus-7), and those takeaways have been crucial while the offense has struggled.
3. What does the offensive line look like?
It went way beyond who started at right guard. Parker Graham switched from left tackle to right guard, Daniel Koenig moved from right tackle to left tackle and Chris Grisbhy from right guard to right tackle. But Grisbhy exited the game early because of illness, giving Brandon Garrett his most extensive playing time of the season. It’s the biggest shakeup we’ve seen so far as Joe Wickline tries to work his coaching magic with this bunch.
After TCU scored a touchdown to bring it within 17-10, the Cowboys immediately answered with a scoring drive that all but sealed the victory. Brandon Sheperd started it off with a 50-yard kickoff return. Then came the trick play. After that, Childs found the end zone for his first-career touchdown.
Player of the game: Josh Stewart
Is Stewart the best all-purpose player in the conference? He’s certainly making his case, finishing with 141 receiving yards and 124 punt return yards.
OSU will return to Ames for the first time since Iowa State squashed the Cowboys’ national title hopes with a double-overtime victory in 2011.
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